The world is a tough place… that, we all know. It’s easy for any of us to get so caught up in all of the bad stuff – our stresses, our personal woes, the relationships we have with others, even worldly matters – that we end up feeling a little weighed down. We don’t always realize that taking in all of that negativity can take away from our mental wellbeing!
That’s why daily affirmations are so great. I’m sure you’ve heard the term before. I’m sure you’ve probably connected “daily affirmations” to an image of a happy-go-lucky, crazy ambitious person set to hit all their goals. “I WILL get that promotion, I WILL get that promotion!”
Don’t get me wrong, goal-oriented affirmations can be extremely useful when it comes to getting things done. But daily affirmations don’t have to stop when you get the promotion – they can be so much more. Daily affirmations have the power to rewire our everyday thinking, and drown out our negative thoughts with positive, motivational ones! Not convinced yet? Here are a few of the many ways that daily affirmations can change the way you live.
They Motivate Us
Examples: I am determined. I work hard. I can. I will.
As I’ve said before, motivations are usually everyone’s go-to affirmations. Nothing wrong with that! But the first thing we want to chant in our bathroom mirror is that we’ll receive something. “I will get hired.” “I will get a good mark on my test.” But we can’t tell the future, and there’s no telling for sure we’ll get what we want, even if the possibility seems high.
What we can do is tell ourselves what is already true. We can remind ourselves that we are persistent and hard working. By telling yourself you are determined and a hard worker, you direct your actions with your thoughts. By making your own call to action, you are dismissing the thought that you are lazy, or that you aren’t doing enough to succeed in life (a lie that some of us tell ourselves all too often).
We Become Positive
Examples: I can overcome anything. I am in charge of how I feel and I choose happiness. I can create change.
A recent study by Julia Boehm has suggested that positive people are not only happier, they’re healthier. Optimistic people are better protected against heart disease and have reduced risk for heart attacks.
Affirmations like these may be difficult for some to begin. We often feel awkward or undeserving of our own self-praise. But trust me, it’s worth it! Practicing an affirmation that promotes confidence can help us improve our own self-image and tune out negative self-talk.
They Keep Us Surrounded by Good Things
Examples: There is beauty and opportunity everywhere I go. When one door closes, another one opens.
Just as we can become wired to be self-deprecating, we can also become tuned in to the woes of the world. Our histories can lead us to become fearful of the future, and mistrusting of others. Affirmations like these open us up to the wonderful possibilities of what our lives could be if we open ourselves up to the world.
We Become More Aware of Our Thoughts
Examples: I am superior to negative thoughts. My thoughts are full of positivity. I can make it through any hardship. I forgive and move on from those who harm me.
When we use affirmations like these, we quickly become aware of just how many times we let negative thoughts into our heads. Negative thinking is natural for everyone. It’s perfectly healthy for a human being to feel and process emotions like anger, sadness, fear, and regret. But health issues arise when we don’t eventually let go of these feelings.
Calling out our own negativity allows a chance for us to catch ourselves in the act of gloomy thinking, and to remind ourselves to let go of our baggage.
We Find Joy in the Little Things
Examples: Today I will stop and smell the roses. I will find time in my day to take in my world around me. Success is not a destination, it’s a never-ending journey.
In the busy and competitive world that we live in today, it’s easy to lose sight of the world’s smaller joys. It’s great to keep a bigger picture in mind to keep us motivated, but we’ll burn out if we can’t take the time to celebrate the little things! These affirmations remind us that it’s okay to reward ourselves when we finish smaller tasks. Sure, maybe you haven’t passed your whole school course just yet, but the A+ on that essay you handed in deserves a little praise, don’t you think?
This affirmation also reminds us to find happiness in smaller comforts as well. Neil Pasricha’s “The Book of Awesome” is a great way to remind ourselves of the… well, awesomeness that comes from things like breakfast in bed or even two-ply toilet paper. Want a way to appreciate the little things? Pick up Pasricha’s book and read about one awesome thing every day!
We Help Others
Examples: I love my amazing family and my incredible friends. I am cherished by the people I love.
When you begin to feel the positive effects of affirmations, people notice – your happiness is contagious! Yes, our families and friends can get on our nerves every now and then. But when we take time out of our daily routine to appreciate them and think about just how much we care for them, we allow ourselves to be better people for them. Doing a friend a favor no longer seems like a tedious task. We end up doing it because we want to. In turn, showing people how much we care elevates our own mood even further.
We Feel Grateful
Examples: My body is healthy. My mind is whole. I am thankful for many things.
Daily affirmations remind us to have gratitude for everything life has given us. We innately crave more out of our lives. This isn’t a bad thing; a hunger for more in life is what motivates us to improve ourselves and set new goals. But we can often forget that life has given us so much to work with already. We are alive, after all. Reminding ourselves of all that we have and all that we’ve been able to experience can help us to stay happy, even in times that we feel loss or failure.
Yes, affirmations are a great idea for anyone looking to keep their mental health in check! The catch is, they have to be practiced daily in order to work. No one’s telling you to shout them out to the world every day – though you can if you want to. If you’re new to affirmations, you can always try writing down a few of your favorite and reading them every morning when you wake up. Affirmations are also a great addition to meditation and deep breathing; you can whisper them to yourself between breaths.
It’s not easy to add something new to your daily routine. But after enough practice, you’ll never want to miss a day of affirming yourself!
We hope this article was helpful! Do you have any affirmations of your own that you’d like to share? Do you feel inspired to start your own affirmation ritual? Let’s talk about it! Leave a message in the comments section down below.
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Edited by Viveca Shearin